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Novartis says may divest generic drugs unit Sandoz

By the Editors with Reuters - 26 October 2021
Swiss drugmaker Novartis' logo is seen at the company's plant in the northern Swiss town of Stein, Switzerland October 23, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Novartis on Tuesday 26 October raised the prospect of divesting its generic drugs unit Sandoz and lifted its peak revenue estimate for its two best-selling pharmaceuticals.

"Novartis has commenced a strategic review of the Sandoz Division. The review will explore all options, ranging from retaining the business to separation, in order to determine how to best maximize value for our shareholders," the Swiss pharma major said in statement on quarterly results.

It added it would have more to say on that review by the end of next year.

Third-quarter operating profit, adjusted for special items, rose 10% to $4.47 billion, driven by higher sales of arthritis and psoriasis drug Cosentyx and heart failure treatment Entresto.

It increased its peak sales guidance for Cosentyx to at least $7 billion and for Entresto to at least $5 billion.

Third-quarter sales rose 6% to $13.03 billion, in line with the average analyst estimate compiled by Refinitiv, while core net income increased 10% to $3.83 billion versus market consensus of $3.7 billion.

Novartis extends deal to make Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines

Novartis has agreed to expand its fill-and-finish support for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by using manufacturing facilities Ljubljana, Slovenia, to fill at least 24 million doses in 2022, the Swiss drugmaker said on Thursday.

Novartis plans to take bulk mRNA active ingredient from BioNTech and fill this into vials under sterile conditions for shipment back to BioNTech for distribution.

This new agreement follows an earlier deal for the fill and finish of more than 50 million doses in 2021 at the Novartis Stein site in Switzerland.

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